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Ever compare GHS Light Flats (45-95) to Ti Flats?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by e-flat, Apr 3, 2017.


  1. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    I'm in love with the feel, tension and tone of the 45-95 GHS Flats I have on my P Bass right now. The only other set of strings I'm curious to try on this bass is the Ti Flat set.

    Can anyone with experience using both sets compare their sonic qualities? The Ti Flats are rumored to be mid-strong, which I might like on this bass. I find the EQ of the GHS 3025 set to be VERY balanced with my bass (Alder P, Rosewood fretboard, Novak Vintage P pickup) but usually bump my mids a little bit on my amp.... So I'm thinking that a stronger midrange set might be worth trying if I don't lose the other qualities of the GHS 3025 set.

    I'll definitelty hang on to the GHS set when I try the Ti Flats, but just wanted to see if some folks might be able to weigh in on these two sets if they have experience.
     
  2. These are my two favorite flats string sets. I use the lighter gauge of GHS P Flats myself. Despite the .40-.95 gauges of the light set, it is still a little more in the tension area than the TIs. The P Flats are old school with the deep chocolate syrupy sound and thump while the Jazz Flats have a sound almost totally unique hi-mids sound. The P Flats would sound bset with roots music while the Jazz Flats are a little more for the modern styles and sounds. They can, of course, be used for either. I have used both on P Basses. Cool strings. Hope you find what you need....and like (which may be both).
     
    e-flat likes this.
  3. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Kentucky
    I have both and I agree with fretlessguy- The GHS have more of a darker and lower mid thing, and the TIs more of a center (or slightly upper) mid characteristic you might say, and a little more punch. But they are not very far from each other as flats go in some tonal aspects, like Chromes or Rotos, for example. The TIs are a little more flexible, but the PFs are are verrrrry smooth and feel wonderful. The TIs are just very unique. A must have on a Pbass!
     
    Miculit Dorin and e-flat like this.
  4. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    You guys are just encouraging my habits! ;)
    Thank you for the insight, and it looks like I'll be picking up a set of Thomastik Flats just to see for myself. Judging from the descriptions you both provided of GHS P Flats, we're all on the same page as far as their character and what we like. That provides a really useful point for comparison, and I think the "mids/high mids" presence of the Thomastik might be a nice touch.
     
    fretlessguy likes this.
  5. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Kentucky
    The great thing about the TIs is if you don't like them (then there's something wrong with your hearing :D --just kidding, of course), but you and easily sell them in the classifieds. It sounds like we do have similar tastes, and I would say try them, but let them settle in before you make up your mind. They do have a little upper clank in some settings at first, but that will go away soon (unlike Chromes which keep that bright thing going a long time and lack mids).
     
    e-flat likes this.
  6. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    I will definitely give them plenty of time to break in... I just ordered the TIs and they should be here in a few days :thumbsup:
    The upper clank won't bother me during the break-in.... that's what the tone knob is for, right?! I didn't really mind the clankiness of Chromes so much as the scooped mids.

    Now I'm excited for these TIs to arrive! Thanks, guys.
     
    fretlessguy and dagrev like this.
  7. Sounds like a winner, e-flat. I hope our advice was of good service to you. You will really enjoy the TIs. I bought two sets of them over 10 years ago and have had them on four different basses, unbelieveably. They are still going strong. They will prolly outlive me (Not that I am THAT old :smug:) .
     
    e-flat likes this.
  8. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I have compared both extensively. The GHS 45-95 are probably the best compromise out there short of Labella 43-104's in terms of a TI substitute with regards to feel. Tone wise, I found the GHS to be an EQ'ing nightmare in order to slot myself properly in certain live mixes. I switched over to them after getting a few bad G strings in the Labella sets. REALLY like they way they sound by themselves and are super Vintage sounding without the higher tension of heavier sets. I eventually came back to TI and wonder why I ever strayed. They are way more versatile and I can coax as much too end out as I want, or get some very articulate lows. I can't say the same for the GHS.
     
    e-flat likes this.
  9. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    This is great feedback, @petrus61 ! I've tried both the La Bellas and the GHS, so that gives me some good reference points.
    What specifically did you dislike about the EQ of the GHS P Flats? I find myself wanting a bit more mids, and usually add some in at the preamp. Did you have a similar experience?
     
  10. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Mostly high mids/top end, or the way it's voiced on them to be more specific. I tend to dig in a bit for certain sections and I found that the highs I was getting to be a bit too attenuated, resulting in more of a muted clank at the expense of low end. I'd dial back the mids and just get lost in the mix, so it felt like a constant struggle. I probably make it sound worse then it is. They're still in my top three favorite flats.
     
    e-flat likes this.
  11. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    yes i've owned both adn played both recently.

    TI - light bottom, heavy mids, heavy top
    GHS - heavy bottom, medium/heavy mids, light top

    I found the GHS are like the real flatwound sounding version of TI flats. TI flats are like flats for roundwound guys. tons of punch and bite but no thump.
     
    SteveFromBerlin and e-flat like this.
  12. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    Hey Mark- Did you compare the GHS & Ti flats on a Jazz bass? (...noticed your sig...) And you opted for the GHS? I've run GHS lights on my jazz as well, but have since gone back to Sunbeams on that bass. Any more Jazz Bass-specific impressions of the TI vs GHS Lights would be helpful, as I've considered trying them on the JB as well.

    It sounds like the Thomastiks are located pretty close to the GHS 3025 set on tonal the spectrum of Flats. Probably just have to build another P Bass to accommodate both. :thumbsup:
     
    markjazzbassist and trothwell like this.
  13. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    yeah i played both on my jazz, i only own 1 bass. both are low tension, both have nice mids, the big difference is the GHS thump like a traditional flat wound (low E decay) wheras the TI don't, they sound like a roundwood decay. Also the TI are brighter and have very light bass content. I always loved the TI but felt they didn't have enough bass for me and i was constantly trying to fix that via amp bass boost or in the mix, and i realized they weren't for me. punchy but i need to sit in the mix with a kick and not be buried.

    i emailed TI about making a heavier gauge set but they said they don't have plans to. I found the GHS on accident really, tried them many times but didnt' really dig the sound, but i kept with them and after break in they really sound nice. Thick full balanced sound with nice mids (unlike the scooped labella mids). really work well with a jazz since they are inherently scooped in the mids. helps to balance them out.

    now i'm using 45 60 80 105 GHS precision flats. Even thicker sound, i love it.

    If you're using Sunbeams and like them i would give the TI a shot, they are close but not as bright and more mids than sunbeams. i played those for a while too. too clangy for me. TI you'll like.
     
    e-flat likes this.
  14. ric4682

    ric4682 Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    While the top end on new TI's are a little more than other flats I've tried, it isn't a clacky, unpleasant tone at all. They're very well voiced strings. Never sounds bad in a mix for me. No EQ needed. I love the GHS's for old school thump, but I prefer the TI's for tonal clarity and sustain.
     
    e-flat likes this.
  15. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    Well, the Thomastik Flats were delivered 4 days early (!), so I got a chance to install & play them today. They sound just beautiful right out of the package. I do believe they will fulfill all of my hopes for this P Bass.

    The set of TIs I received is ultra polished, and nearly as powder smooth to the touch as the GHS 45-95 set they're replacing. This is important to me because I can't stand Flats that feel grippy or tacky.

    The TI "A" string required just a minor adjustment of the saddle, but other than that the tension between the two sets is not drastically different. No truss rod tweaks, just a nice easy transition.

    I made a couple quickie recordings just running DI into Reaper so that I could compare the sound of the two sets directly. The GHS set has a thicker low thump and less midrange, while the TI set has a more prominent midrange and slightly less low end. All the feedback I've received basically had me prepared for that... but I wasn't prepared for how tonally balanced these TIs are, and the wonderful voice they have. I'm definitely looking forward to the "mellowing" process, but even if they were to stay exactly as they are right now I'd be completely elated.
     
  16. martinc

    martinc In Memoriam

    I just made a comparison in the last couple of days between GHS Precision 3025 Flats and the TI Jazz flats (43-100) on my 74 P Bass with SD Quarter-Pounders . I was curious to see if my new found satisfaction with the PF's would stand up against the TI's.
    I used the TI Flats several years ago for about 6 months. The Precision Flats have been on for about 4 months. For me the difference was stark. First of all the finish on the TI E and A strings is a lot rougher that the PF... closer to roundwounds. Now I understand what "sticky" means when I see it used by other posters to describe strings.
    The TI E and A have a trebly edge and a lot more life to them as opposed to the PF's (just like their Spirocores for upright bass). The E and A strings have a pleasant bass sound in addition to a bit of zing but do not thump or have the satisfying lows like the PF's. The D and G strings are very similar in feel and sound to the PF D and G.
    I had the TI's on for about 24 hours and they settled in quite nicely. However I was not interested in keeping them on any longer. The feel and sound was not what I wanted. After I re-installed the Precision Flats I uttered a loud sigh of relief. The super-smooth finish, the thumpy deep sound, great feel/tension/tone and perfect sustain won me over again. So comfortable to play.
    My next test will be the last....LaBella Deep Talkin' 760FL. But the bar has been set very high by the Precision Flats.
    I'll chime in again after I try the LaBella's.
     
    e-flat likes this.
  17. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    I had a set of the medium GHS precision flats on a P-Bass for a while and now I have TI Jazz flats. The GHS flats are a more traditional flat. The lighter gauge GHS flats might be a little closer to the TIs than the mediums, but I suspect not.

    The GHS strings still allow the traditional deep P-bass tone to come through, especially on open "E" and "A" strings. They also still have thump anywhere on the neck. Not a lot of clank from the start, and what there is goes away pretty quickly. The mediums are also pretty stiff like most other flats, so that would be different from the lights, and definitely different from the TIs.

    The TI's don't have the deep low end so much. In fact, I'd guess the missing deep P-bass tone on the low end with the TIs is probably the main reason why some don't like the TIs. They do have the mids everyone reports, and they are well balanced in tone unlike some flats that seem to get progressively brighter as the string gauge gets smaller. The TIs actually have different windings on the D & G than they have on the E & A (4 string sets), and I suspect that is specifically for tone balancing.

    My advise to anyone on TIs; don't expect big, deep low end, even from a P-bass you've played for years and have become accustomed to having deep low end on-demand. It's not going to be there.

    What is there is a balanced smooth / soft tone across all strings, little or no clank. The TIs somehow don't produce as much of the deep lows to the degree that the mids come shining through.
     
    markjazzbassist and e-flat like this.
  18. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    y'all got me jonesing to try TI again LOL. bought a set and will compare with the .40, .55, .75 .100 GHS on my jazz bass.

    tensions and string sizes are very close so should be a like for like comparison.
     
    e-flat likes this.
  19. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    In order to get a better direct comparison between the TIs and GHS 3025 set, I went ahead and installed the GHS set on my Jazz Bass. (DR Sunbeams kept close for when I need the grind, of course)

    I spent the morning going back & forth between my P Bass with TIs and my Jazz with the GHS Lights. I was really just comparing the feel, and I have to say the TI set I have is almost as smooth to the fretting hand as the GHS. The TIs are definitely a touch smoother and less grippy than La Bella 760FL and Sadowsky Black flats I've tried, and smoother than a set of Chromes I had in the past as well. Maybe it's my callouses, but the area in which I can feel a "grippyness" to the TIs is with my plucking hand.... there's a resistance on the surface that the GHS don't have. It could also be that the flat wraps of the TIs are smooth when I'm running my fretting fingers in parallel with the string up & down the neck, but provide a little more resistance when plucking the string (perpendicular) with my right hand. Could also just be because the TIs are new! :)

    Either way, the slight grippyness to the right hand of the TIs is very minor and I wouldn't even mention it except for the fact that we are dissecting the minute qualities of bass strings for the public good :thumbsup:
     
    time & groove likes this.
  20. e-flat

    e-flat

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    I really look forward to hearing your impressions!
     
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